You don’t have to feel stress from the outside after a car accident – free case analysis is available now. Being involved in a car crash is more inconvenient than many people realize. Depending on the circumstances, you could end up with serious injuries that impair your ability to function in numerous areas of your life.
Depending on the circumstances, some of these damages could be permanent, rendering you unable to earn, enjoy your hobbies, or carry out your spousal duties.
If you are dealing with any of this, there’s likely medical treatment involved, which doesn’t come cheap. The fact that an insurance company is more concerned with retaining money than helping you is also unhelpful.
As devastating as all this is, it only speaks to the physical injury aspect of a traffic accident. What about mental health, though? Car accidents are quite the catalyst for mental health issues, especially when the stress isn’t managed well.
Your physical health is not the only thing that will cost you after a car accident, which is why the focus here will be on the mental side of a personal injury case. As you read, you will learn from an expert Los Angeles crash lawyer how stress can affect you after a car accident and what will need to happen for it to be taken care of!
What to Do after Motor Vehicle Crashes
Before getting into the details of the mental health element of accidents, it’s good to understand the sequence of actions to take if you find yourself in one.
Consider the following:
- Seek medical attention for yourself, and anyone else injured if you can do so.
- Ensure you submit a statement to the police officer who responds to the scene. If there is none, make a report to the relevant police station as soon as possible.
- Collect any evidence you can, including vehicle documents, driver’s license images, accident scene images, and contact information for those involved in the accident (contact details of witnesses should also be collected where possible).
- Reach out to your Los Angeles car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
- Do not admit fault or confirm with any insurance company that you are feeling fine. In some cases, a personal injury can be terrible internally while not immediately presenting a challenge externally.
Mental Disorders That May Arise after a Car Accident
Unfortunately, the experience of being in a motor vehicle crash is not something that victims tend to live through once. The image of all that took place will often replay, so much so that an intense fear, alongside other mental health problems, may emerge.
The fear can be of getting into another accident as a whole, or it can be centered around specific elements, such as driving at night if the accident occurred at night.
While there are most certainly other mental conditions that can develop, here’s a high-level look at a few of the most common ones associated with car accidents. The American Psychiatric Association can offer more insight into these, alongside others.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
A quick look at the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual indicates that witnessing or experiencing a serious traumatic event, such as a car accident, is enough to cause someone to develop PTSD.
When such a situation occurs, the body will naturally trigger changes such as the secretion of stress hormones to avoid danger or to help with fighting it. This is why stress is good in small doses, so long as these situations are what bring it out.
Additionally, a range of emotions will be felt. The typical situation is that people will recover. However, some start developing PTSD symptoms instead, meaning they will continue to experience mental challenges. One of the most notable posttraumatic stress symptoms is a persisting feeling of stress or fright, even with no danger present.
Even more concerningly, many people do not experience PTSD symptoms immediately. For some, it’s a few months after, and for others, it could be years after the initial car accident.
Frightening thoughts, bad dreams, and flashbacks tend to characterize the experience, and they are often accompanied by other recurring undesirables.
The big problem here is that it affects other areas of life. Imagine having a fear of a place that you need to be in daily, for example.
People suffering from major depression experience negative feelings such as sadness or disinterest in once enjoyable activities. It affects the way people act in such a large way that they can end up with physical problems later.
Before a health professional will settle on this diagnosis, there must be a demonstrated change from previous function over at least two weeks.
People often wonder where the difference lies between depression and extreme sadness. However, the thought patterns of an intensely grieving person and a depressed person differ. Consider losing a family member in a car accident.
Some of the feelings that may come along with that experience are a dip in mood, a disruption in what would be the typical level of self-esteem, and even suicidal thoughts.
A grief-based change in mood tends to be accompanied by positive thoughts of the person who was lost. With major depression, there is no positive outlook.
Self-esteem doesn’t necessarily change during a period of grieving, however, depression is often characterized by the self-loathing element that accompanies it.
Both scenarios often see suicidal thoughts occur, but the motivation for each is different. A grieving person may think about joining the family member who passed, while a majorly depressed person is more likely to think about feeling unworthy to be alive or simply being unable to handle the pain.
General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Like depression, General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is often hard to characterize because it bears similarities to another situation in which the condition is absent. This, of course, is simply being anxious, which is a natural phenomenon for anyone.
Getting married, sitting for an exam, doing a live performance, or having a job interview are all things that can make someone anxious.
However, GAD is a more long-form kind of thing that applies to a broad range of situations or problems instead of being isolated to one understandable thing. Resolving an anxious thought is often not a solution as people find that it is simply replaced by another one.
Restlessness, worry, insomnia, trouble concentrating, dizziness, and heart palpitations are all anxiety symptoms.
Additionally, anxiety tends to be a symptom itself. It is one of the main ones of PTSD, phobias, and panic disorder.
Treatment for Stress after Motor Vehicle Accidents
In the presence or absence of any of the conditions noted above (or others), you may experience general feelings of stress overload, which may be accompanied by:
- Poor judgment
- Memory challenges
- Consistent worrying
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Aches and pains
- Low libido
- Over or undereating
- Withdrawal from others
Not only can these things disrupt how you operate internally, but you may also find that there are external challenges as well. For example, withdrawing from others and procrastination quite literally can translate to much lower productivity at work.
Additionally, interactions with those you have different kinds of relationships with can become strained from pessimism and irritability.
The first element of treatment is diagnosis. This will require the assistance of a medical professional. In some cases, a general practitioner may be able to give the diagnosis. However, in others, a psychiatrist or neurologist will need to assist.
After diagnosis, a prescribed course of treatment could come in the form of medicine or therapy, all while adjustments may need to be made to keep your triggers away.
These treatments, alongside others, are often continuous and can result in your having quite a hefty medical bill, which only progressively worsens.
The Cost of Treatment in Your Personal Injury Claim
As indicated before, the continuous course of treatment often associated with stress-based challenges can become consistently more expensive. Why is this?
First, you’re dealing with a medical professional. The visits that you will likely need to keep attending all have a flat consultation charge.
If medicine is prescribed, it will likely be a part of your daily life for some time to come, which is a cost. Bear in mind that medicine often represents part of a treatment plan.
Therapy may also be a part of the equation, which not only means more visits, but also visits that may not be covered by health insurance.
Then there are other external factors to think of. What if the route you take to work is one of your triggers? Simply driving elsewhere until you have recovered can have a time cost and a direct monetary cost, particularly if it is a much longer and more inconvenient route.
Compensation in Your Case and Managing Your Costs
Your Los Angeles car accident attorney will work with you to ensure that you are fairly compensated for all aspects of your claim.
Whether you suffer from anxiety disorders or some other form of greater psychological distress, it may present a dip in quality of life from the distress and mental anguish you must endure. Your lawyer will seek compensation for these areas, as well as the course of treatment you will need as paying for it all would put you in a tough spot.
Worse even, why should you have to bear these costs when someone else’s negligence put you in this position in the first place?
Apart from the stress element, other compensation areas include:
- Current and future lost wages
- Property damage
- Medical bills for physical impairment or injuries
- Loss of companionship.
Returning to Work with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Returning to work may be one of your biggest concerns, particularly with how expensive your life probably became seemingly overnight. After all, if you don’t go in, you may end up compromising your earnings or your employment status.
Your attorney will attempt to assist you in getting the necessary temporary exemption. You should also note that returning too early can affect your claim negatively, which may compound stress-based conditions. Wait until you are cleared by a medical professional to return, and even then, follow the directives you’re given to keep yourself grounded.
Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney Today!
Whether it’s chronic PTSD, depressive symptoms, or GAD, car crashes present a huge risk factor for multiple negative psychological outcomes. These often require expensive courses of treatment that can put victims in a terrible financial space.
At Ehline Law Firm, we aggressively and passionately represent our clients to secure a fair settlement that will cover the costs of the treatment. This includes treatment you have already got and treatment to come. Schedule a free consultation today by calling (833) LETS-SUE!